The Patriots rolled the dice when they didn’t use any tag on Mike Onwenu, which set the versatile offensive lineman up to test the NFL open market for the first time in his career.

But fortunately for New England, it was able to retain arguably its most important 2024 free agent.

Onwenu reportedly is sticking around in Foxboro, Mass., on a three-year, $57 million contract. The 2020 sixth-round pick reportedly will see $38 million guaranteed in his new deal, along with a $22.5 million signing bonus. While the deal has not yet been made official, Onwenu confirmed his return to New England via Instagram story Monday night.

“We. Back. Patriots nation let’s go,” Onwenu captioned the post.

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While maintaining Onwenu was a critical move for Jerod Mayo and company, there still is plenty more work to be done on New England’s offensive line. The unit was mediocre at best last season and it appears to be on the verge of losing Trent Brown, a standout tackle when healthy.

Trotting out a solid offensive line is a goal for every team every season, but it could be especially paramount for the Patriots in 2024. If New England grabs a quarterback at No. 3 in the draft and plans to start him right away, Onwenu and the rest of the line will need to be at their best to protect the rookie.

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